Friday, April 18, 2008

Home from Going Deep, part II

After Olga's story, we went back to the house for dessert crepes. Did I mention the food yet? Every meal and snack was not only delicious but imaginative. Thanks to Lee and Mary, who fed us well.

In the morning, we were ready to talk about Olga's story. Though we didn't plan it this way, the morning workshops followed a pattern: the first half was a lively discussion of the story from the night before (process, images, correlations with other stories, metaphors, questions); the second half was about the broader themes or about specific story processes, with participatory exercises. We settled into the story and into our own stories.

It was raining on that second day. I needed to tell myself Queen Berta and King Pippin, so I went for a long walk, mumbling to myself the entire way. Part of my walk was down by the Ohio River. When my sneakers were too wet, I went inside and finished the story in my room, pacing around the bed.

That evening, I wore a red velvet trousers and jacket, a particularly good bargain from the 100 Good Women clothing swap ($1!). Olga and Liz assured me that it would be the right combination of comfort and elegance.

I did my best to record each of the evenings' performances. I did each one differently: with Olga's story I patched the recorder into the headset microphone, with my story I patched into the microphone on a stand, and Megan's story was recorded directly from a spot on the side of the stage area. I'm not sure how they sound yet--one of my tasks this weekend is to listen to these. They might just be our mediocre archival copies.

My performance felt pretty good. I'm trying not to be too critical--there are always parts I wish I had done differently. The audience seemed to like it. It was nice to have quite a few listeners who were not part of the festival workshops. Once again, we went back to the house, this time for cake (dinner for me) and wine.

It can be hard to sleep after telling one of these big stories with a brain full of images. I did eventually conk out, though, and was up early to get ready for my workshop. As Hope mentioned in her blog, participants felt strongly enough about the story that the discussion got really loud in the morning session. We talked, we sang, we told stories, and we wrote.

To be continued...

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